Local heroes gain recognition

Joss Coles and Neil Brailsford of shop@stanwick with last year's award
Joss Coles and Neil Brailsford of shop@stanwick with last year's award

A farm shop and two village shops have been shortlisted in this year’s Rural Oscars.

Top businesses across the Midlands have been named as finalists in the 2012 Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the ‘Rural Oscars’.

The awards, now in their eighth year, celebrate the characters, skills, traditions and enterprise of the countryside through the people who work so hard to make it tick. Each finalist has received numerous nominations from supportive customers and hopes to go all the way to the Parliamentary final next March. The 2012 Midlands finalists include the farm shop at New Lodge Farm, Bulwick, which has been shortlisted in the Local Food category and shop@stanwick, which won an award last year, and Collyweston Community Shop in the village shop category.

Countryside Alliance Midlands Regional Director Sara Rutherford commented: “It is exciting to see such a diverse range of rural businesses included in this list and I look forward to meeting the people behind each shop counter. Rural businesses continue to have a tough year: bad weather has affected the harvest and tourism, meaning a lean year for many. It is vital that we support our small rural businesses and help to revive our rural economy – celebrating them in the ‘Rural Oscars’ gives them a well-deserved boost.”

The regional winners are announced in January and they then go through to the national final.